Emily Harris Obituary

FEBRUARY 6, 1929 – DECEMBER 4, 2023


Emily Lucretia Summers Harris was born on February 6, 1929, in Nacogdoches, Texas. She passed away on December 4, 2023. Emily attended Stephen F. Austin State University Demonstration School for elementary grades, before graduating from Nacogdoches High School in 3 years with honors in 1945. In 1950, Emily graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University before heading to The University of Texas in Austin, where she graduated in 1952 with her Master of Education Degree. She met her husband, Joe Tom Harris, at the University of Texas and they married in 1952. They lived in Austin teaching and coaching for the Austin Independent School District until they moved to Nacogdoches in 1958. Joe taught and coached for Nacogdoches Independent School District, while Emily raised their young children (Nina and Tom).

In 1975, Florence Patton invited Emily to join her in establishing a Christian day school at Fredonia Hill Baptist Church (Fredonia Hill Baptist Academy), where she taught second grade for seven years. When Branch Patton became ill, Florence asked Emily to become the principal, “for a few years”. Emily’s position as principal became her life’s work. She truly loved working with children, teachers, and parents. She could not wait to get to work each morning! After many decades at the school, Emily retired at 82 years young to stay home with her husband when he became ill.

Throughout their lives, Emily and Joe were active members of First Christian Church. They spent many years working in the nursery. Emily was an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She loved cooking and making a home for her family.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Nina and Jesse William Summers, her son Joe Tom Harris, Jr., brother, William Frank Summers, Jr., and husband, Joe Tom Harris.

Emily is survived by her daughter, Nina Harris Clark Perry; sister-in-law Jeannie Summers; grandchildren Autumn Taylor, husband Zach and their child Harper; Arthur Clark, wife Annelise and their children Spencer and Holly; and George Clark IV, wife Cassie and their children Julia and Sarah.

Emily loved the Lord, her family, her country, and teaching. She did it all perfectly; a great and faithful servant.

Her family would like to thank: Leticia Delatorre, LVN, Vinnie Curtis, Jonnie Brenson, Dr. Vijaya Pokala, Dr. Brian Davis, and Jessica Montgomery, RN with the Hospice of East Texas, for the compassionate care that each provided.

Memorial contributions may be made to Fredonia Hill Baptist Academy in Nacogdoches, TX, Wounded Warrior Project, or First Christian Church in Nacogdoches, TX.